An iridescent red liqueur, slapped with a shiny label, is deceptive. If you haven’t had Campari, its cough syrup-esque color masks a bitter flavor known to make many pucker. Like a lot of aperitifs, it’s an acquired taste. Initial grimaces bygone, don’t call it quits on Campari. When in doubt, make a cocktail.
Let the liqueur intermingle with gin and sweet vermouth in a Negroni, a perfect specimen of how bitter and sweet can be oh-so-sweet. Pair Campari with orange for a Roman-inspired Serpenti and revel in the Italian stallion of a drink, crunching demerara sugar between your teeth. Spike beer with Campari and lime for a refreshing take on a Shandy that’s worthy of repeating all summer long. Even better: Serve your drinks in these Art et Manufacture tall ceramic glasses. They're pretty perfect for Campari (or any other summer) drink. Here are eight Campari cocktails to get you started, raising the bar on bitter.